Tumour therapy with radionuclides: assessment of progress and problems

J Carlsson, EF Aronsson, SA Hietala, T Stigbrand, Jan Tennvall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Radionuclide therapy is a promising modality for treatment of tumours of haematopoietic origin while the success for treatment of solid tumours so far has been limited. The authors consider radionuclide therapy mainly as a method to eradicate disseminated tumour cells and small metastases while bulky tumours and large metastases have to be treated surgically or by external radiation therapy. The promising therapeutic results for haematological tumours give hope that radionuclide therapy will have a breakthrough also for treatment of disseminated cells from solid tumours. New knowledge related to this is continuously emerging since new molecular target structures are being characterised and the knowledge on pharmacokinetics and cellular processing of different types of targeting agents increases. There is also improved understanding of the factors of importance for the choice of appropriate radionuclides with respect to their decay properties and the therapeutic applications. Furthermore, new methods to modify the uptake of radionuclides in tumour cells and normal tissues are emerging. However, we still need improvements regarding dosimetry and treatment planning as well as an increased knowledge about the tolerance doses for normal tissues and the radiobiological effects on tumour cells. This is especially important in targeted radionuclide therapy where the dose rates often are lower than 1 Gy/h. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-111
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • tumour therapy
  • radionuclide therapy
  • effects
  • radiation
  • metastasis
  • disseminated tumour cells
  • low dose rate
  • review


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